It is the responsibility of every parent to provide their child with a healthy and safe lifestyle. This includes taking care of their health, which involves administering vaccinations at regular intervals. It can be confusing for many parents to decide when each vaccination needs to be administered, so here are some guidelines on how best to maintain your child’s immunization schedule.
Make a decision on which vaccines are required
The first thing to do is find out if your child needs any vaccinations at all. The vaccine schedule varies from country to country, so it is best to check with an immunization expert or your local health department to know the list of important vaccines for children. It is not necessary that these lists will be the same for both boys and girls.
Vaccinations at birth
The very first vaccination required is typically administered at birth itself, and this will typically be an injection of Hepatitis B Vaccine. This vaccine provides necessary antibodies to protect your child from contracting the disease until they are old enough to be vaccinated themselves through other methods such as drops or ingestion of pills. However, suppose parents opt for a separate pediatrician instead of using their family doctor. In that case, it is best to consult with them before vaccinating your child to get all possible vaccines under one roof rather than running around between multiple doctors to accomplish the task. You have recently moved overseas; you will also need to immunize your child against various diseases prevalent in the new country.
Vaccinations at 2,4 and 6 months of age
After receiving their first vaccination, parents need to ensure that they vaccinate their children on time. The most common vaccinations for babies are given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. This includes Rotavirus Vaccine and Pediatric Injections such as DTaP/Diphtheria/Tetanus/acellular Pertussis vaccine, PCV13 vaccine (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), Prevnar 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine, etc. All these vaccines protect from various pediatric ailments which may cause long-term disability or even death.
Vaccinations given at 11-15 months of age
The next set of vaccinations are usually administered when your child is around 11 to 15 months old. Immunizations for this period include Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis A vaccine, and Flu vaccine. The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. At the same time, the varicella immunization inoculates your child against chickenpox. Hepatitis A immunization protects your child from contracting the hepatitis A virus, while flu shots provide resistance against influenza viruses. One should consult with one’s pediatrician before getting these shots as they may have some side effects.
Vaccinations at 15 months and above
In order to maintain a proper vaccination schedule, parents need to follow the advice of their child’s pediatrician carefully. Suppose your child has been given all previous vaccinations on time. In that case, you can ask your doctor about getting them one more round of booster doses so that your baby gets full protection from any possible diseases. However, this decision should be made considering medical history, ongoing health conditions, and age so as not to cause unnecessary harm. Also, if a person had a late first MMR shot or missed any vaccinations, they can still receive those vaccines even after 15 months since it is never too late for vaccination only too early.
How to Manage Vaccine Schedule?
It is essential to keep a proper vaccine schedule to protect your child from diseases as early as possible. However, it is also very easy for parents to miss shots and appointments due to busy work schedules and other family commitments, so here are some tips that can help you manage your child’s immunization schedule:
– Ask your pediatrician for a color-coded calendar that will help you keep tabs on the days and months on which vaccines are due. This calendar can be easily carried along with a baby bag to make misses a rare case.
– Keep a reminder on your phone or note down important dates on your planner. This will come in helpful if you need to replace an appointment at short notice and ensure that there is an ample gap between two doses so as not to cause unnecessary harm.
– If possible, try checking the child’s vaccine history before heading out to get it administered from another doctor or clinic, as many offer discounts for new-born babies. An efficient way of doing this is by using ImmunifyMe Child Immunization App, which helps to keep a track of all the vaccination.
Keep track of immunizations
If there is any documentation available with the pediatrician or local health department about immunization requirements, keep those records handy. This way, even if you forget when the next vaccination session will be, you can remind them at the next appointment.
What if your child misses the vaccine?
If your child misses any shot, don’t panic just yet as certain vaccines can be given well into adulthood in case of late administration, including MMR, hepatitis A and meningococcal. However, keep a note of previously missed shots so that it is easier to get them vaccinated in the future. Also, consult with your doctor about catch-up schedules for all age-specific vaccines before getting your baby immunized next time.
What are the common side effects?
As with any form of medication, Vaccines can also have some side effects. Most side-effects are mild, but sometimes they may be severe as well. The common pediatric injections are TaP/Diphtheria/Tetanus/acellular Pertussis vaccine, PCV13 vaccine, Prevnar 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine, etc. All these vaccines protect from various pediatric ailments which may cause long-term disability or even death. Some of the more common side effects of vaccinations include fever, swelling at the injection site, tenderness and redness, loss of appetite, irritability, and drowsiness.
ConclusionAlthough the immunization schedule should not be missed, if you do forget to get your baby vaccinated, then don’t worry just yet, as vaccines can also be given well into adulthood in case of late administration. Also, consult with your doctor or pediatrician about catch-up schedules for all age-specific vaccines before getting your baby immunized again. Keeping a proper vaccine schedule and record can help you manage your child’s vaccination effectively and conveniently without any hassle.